Re-Introduction: What is Eventure? Who are we? Why and How?

I thought that for my first blog in a long time, I would take the time to re-introduce my company, Eventure, to you. I get asked this question a lot, and nothing makes me happier than to talk about our business and our business model.

Eventure, as it turns out, is a perfect name for our company. It certainly has been one hell of an adventure in the event business. Our Eventure started now almost 6 years ago! That’s wild to me, 6 years has been a challenge of ups and downs, great successes and some decent mistakes. But we are still here, and stronger and bigger than ever. Every year we move closer to our goal of being a true one-stop shop. But before I go on, let me tell you what our business model actually is.

My personal history started at Kloda Productions many many years ago in a galaxy far far away. I ultimately became a lighting designer and lighting programmer for close to 10 years. Then moved to New York and started Kloda New York, which concentrated on Inflatable games. Upon returning to Montreal, I returned to Kloda, but this time in sales and marketing. After a few years, and a marriage and child, I started a new event planning company called C3 Events. With close to 5 years of amazing events and experiences, I then left C3 and started Eventure with Steve Merling.

Throughout all of these experiences, I learned something new along the way. Planning events isn’t easy, and people take it for granted. It is one of those jobs that people don’t notice, unless something goes wrong. Similar to audio technician, no one knows he’s there until the microphone doesn’t work.

The most difficult part of being an event planner is being competitively priced, and being able to deliver in a timely manner. The first one is difficult, as event planners are always viewed as an additional expense, and many clients feel that they can call the suppliers directly and avoid that fee. The 2nd part is more frustrating, as no matter how good of a relationship you may have with your vendors, they have their own agenda and timeline, and it doesn’t always work in your agenda and timeline.

Eventure was therefore borne out of that frustration and necessity. If we can own and operate more and more of our own products and services, then we can control the budget and be more competitive, and also control the agenda and timeline for each event. You see, every supplier has to make a certain amount of money to cover overhead, salaries, profits, etc. But if one supplier offers multiple services, then that margin can be lowered as there is a bigger slice of the event pie.

We therefore decided to start with our own catering service. Food is almost always served at events, and it tends to be the biggest line item in an event budget. So we bought a commercial kitchen, partnered with an amazing chef, and voila… we are caterers. Or so I thought… Catering is H-A-R-D! It’s not just making some food and serving it, it’s budgets, presentation, shopping, plating, making sure it’s hot, tastes good, vegetarian option, gluten/peanut/dairy free, served properly, set up in time and cleaned up well. It needs to be ready 15 minutes before the schedule every time, or 45 minutes later than the schedule says. But it can’t be cold, nor can it be dry. It might be kosher and the mashgiach is an hour late, or the oven doesn’t work and you try to McGyver the gas line with some toothpicks and tape. It might be too rare or too well done, and it might be too salty or not salty enough. 5 people at one table might love it, and the same table may have 5 people who hate it. How many forks, ovens, platters and bowls do we need? Do we need 2 jack stands or 4 speed racks?

In close to 6 years, I can now say, I think we are getting the hang of this catering thing. And a big shout-out to Ben Cooper and George and Ronnie for making us shine every time! Catering is about the team, and not the individual. Are we the best caterers in Montreal? Maybe not yet, but we will be. Each event we learn, each event we have another satisfied customer. We constantly strive to be the best, and the more talented people that we can incorporate onto our team, the closer we are to being the best. (But I can assure you we are the best caterer, bar, sound, lighting, video, planning, and design company in Montreal!)

One more thing on catering. If you are shopping for a caterer, and price is your only determining factor, don’t be too surprised with the final outcome. Food costs money. If you go to Loblaw’s and pay $12 for chicken, how is it possible that your caterer can sell you chicken for $4? Keep that in mind when hiring a caterer, if they are cheaper than a McDonald’s meal, then maybe you should wonder how. Don’t forget that we also have salaries, packaging, rent, gas, hydro, transport, rentals, and heaven-forbid, some profit for a lot of hard work!

We then looked at sound, lighting, video, staging and draping. I started in the technical production field at Kloda, concentrating on lighting. But like all Kloda techs, we all knew every aspect of the install and tear-down and operation. I have done audio and DJing when in a jam, rigging and power tie-ins, video and draping. For those of us that have graduated from Kloda U, there is a reason we are the best in the biz, we learned from the best, and were thrown into the fire every time.

We met XO Productions a year into business, both Pat and Mike were eager to grow their DJ and Videography business into an all encompassing production company. We recently produced the Ottawa Sports Celebrity Dinner in Ottawa for the 5th year in a row. Year one when we hired XO to work on it with us, I stood with Pat and we both agreed that we will own all the equipment needed to produce that event. That was an initial goal for the company, and we are still growing till this day. XO and Eventure have become strong partners, and XO plays a very important part in our business model. We control the production, pricing and quality of each of our events. We have the knowledge and ability to design lighting, audio systems, A/V installations, video content, photography, our own DJs, and a lot more. We have done some very cool productions together, including the NHL All-Star Gala twice, many well known movie wrap parties, corporate and fundraising events, in Montreal, Ontario and the U.S.

Once again, the business model is all about the team. I never said I did it all. I understand most of it, and strive to learn as much as I can about all of it, but the people that we work with make the business model work.

The core of the company though is our ability to conceptualize and plan each of our events. That’s where Kaitlin comes in today. She is the central core of our planning and production. She is the liaison between all of our divisions, the clients, other vendors and venues. We are also thrilled to now have partnered with Steph and Wild Cherry for our private market events. More on that to come in another post.

I hope you understand our business model, how we got here, and where we want to go. We take each event with the utmost of importance and treat each event as it’s our most important. Whether you hire us just for catering, or audio, or a combination of all or some, we are thrilled to be part of your event each time. But by hiring us, you not only get a great service at a fair price, you get a very experienced and knowledgeable team of experts there to ensure that your event is planned and executed each and every time.

I hope those that read my blog enjoy it, and please give me some feedback. If there is something you want to know about the event’s business, or your event in particular, please feel free to ask. If there is a topic that you think would be interesting for met to write about, please let me know. The point of this blog is to share what I know about the event’s business, business in general, and specific problems, solutions, pitfalls, and solutions we have dealt with throughout the years. I am heavily opinionated, as most of you know, and I am always happy to have a good debate, so feel free to challenge me, or to teach me.

See you at the next post!

Dan